“Let’s Recycle More” is the slogan on the recycling vans where I live in Bath. They’ve done it again! Government interferes and they manage to morph “Less rubbish” to “More rubbish” without anyone noticing the subtle step by step change.
We have recycling targets. The targets are not about reducing, but about increasing! Increasing the percentage of rubbish recycled. No targets for reducing the amount of landfill, or even reducing the total amount of rubbish. Just because the PERCENTAGE of non recycled rubbish goes down, does not mean the actual AMOUNT goes down.
The government encouragement for more recycling makes people feel virtuous if they put out more of it! And how do you get more of it to put out? You have to buy more. More consumerism. More Economic Growth.
The message used to be “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, before it got hijacked. Reduce how much you consume was the number one priority. Then Reuse what you can, priority number two. Finally, if you can’t do any more of the above, recycle what you can as a third choice. I guess if this attitude had taken off en masse, it would upset economic growth. So it had to be stopped.
My street is full of rubbish every week. I would say it is going up. I have 5 different containers to put my rubbish in, not that I use them all. And I don’t even have a garden waste bin! I personally feel pleased when I can put out less of everything, including the recycling stuff.
I have noticed that it is becoming almost antisocial not to join in and do your bit for the planet. (The people are policing themselves once again). But one of the major problems for the planet is consumerism. So there is a fundamental flaw in our government controlled recycling systems that encourage damage to the very thing they are claiming to help.
I notice that there is a similar story going on with food, when the message should be to reduce consumption, and eat healthier things, but it has somehow morphed to “Five a day”, which I now see even on the side of vans. It has got into the national psyche.
(See earlier posts: Environmental Footprint, The Anorexics Are Right)